Hashkama: Thoughts on Haggai

I had been wondering about what I should read next.  Then, a few weeks ago, at 7.00pm on a Thursday evening, I decided to tune into the online “Foundations Bible School”, using the Zoom App.  They were discussing the Book of Haggai.  In the enthusiasm of the evening I decided to make Haggai my next read.  They are immersed in studies in Genesis now.  Whether a new convert or mature in the Lord, I recommend the Bible School to anyone wanting to grow in their understanding of Scripture, and who enjoys searching out the Hebrew and Greek meanings of words.  There a

Hashkama: Tickle or Teach?

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Hash Kama: Thoughts on Isaiah - part 2

Isaiah survived four kings: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.  Four prophets prophesied during the same period: Hosea, Isaiah, Amoz, and Micah.  The Jewish Pesikta Rabbasi 33:19 says: The Holy One, Blessed is He, as it were, was asking Himself, “Whom shall I send” (Isaiah 6:8).  Who will henceforth undertake My mission?  I sent Micah and they struck Him, [I sent] Zechariah and they slew him, [I sent] Jeremiah and they cast him into the pit.”  Isaiah replied, “Here I am; send me.”

HashKama : Thoughts on Isaiah (1)

In the year 1920, on Shabbat Naḥamu, a British Zionist Jew, named Viscount Herbert Samuel, visited the Hurva Synagogue in the Old City.  There, he was honoured with the recitation of the haftara “Take comfort, take comfort, My people, says your God; speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call out to her” (Isaiah 40:1-2).  After thousands of years of exile and suffering, a Jewish authority had finally returned to Jerusalem, following the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations’ historic decision, recalling Isaiah 42:18 and Zerubbabel and Nehemiah at the time of

Hashkama: Hezekiah Part 4

We opened our first study with a question about our present-day situation, “Is it reformation or revival that is needed?”  We then went on to look at the reforms that king Hezekiah introduced, getting rid of the high places, pulverising the bronze serpent, chucking the idols into the Kidron valley; all were a kind of repentance in action, and a reversal of direction for the whole of Judah.  On the positive side, Hezekiah re-installed Passover, even inviting the separated northern tribes to participate in the celebrations in Jerusalem.  None of it was just words, Hezekiah did

Hashkama: Hezekiah [Part 3]

Hezekiah came between the two most appalling kings of Judah, Ahaz and Manasseh.  The Scriptural accounts of king Hezekiah’s reign are given in 2 Kings 18:1-20.19; 2 Chronicles 29:1-32:33; and Isaiah 36-39.  You can also find mention in Sirach 48:17-25.  Sirach ranks Hezekiah with David and Josiah among the noteworthy pious rulers – Sirach 49:4 (The Book of Sirach, also known as Ecclesiasticus, is part of the Wisdom Literature of the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate Bible).

The Single kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 18:1- 25:30)

Hashkama: Hezekiah’s Regression

For those that enjoy Jewish studies and thought, we will take a short excursion into Jewish commentary on the king.  King Hezekiah did six things: on three the sages agreed with him, and on three they did not. 1. He dragged his [wicked] father’s bones on a bier of rope.  2. He smashed the copper snake [of Moses so that it would not be worshipped].  3. He hid [Solomon’s] book of medicines – to which they agreed.  4. He closed off the waters of Gihon [so that the attacking Assyrian armies would not find water to drink].  5.

Hashkama: Hezekiah's Reforms

Someone has posed the question: Does the Church need a Reformation?  I wonder who would lead such a demonstration of devotion to God and to His word.  Where are there such leaders among God’s people?  Most have their own good reasons for not rocking the boat.  Is it reformation or revival that is needed?  Perhaps with repentance and cleansing, God would answer that question for us.